I'll be honest, it's hard for me not to judge a book by its cover. This one, Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm, keeps my bad habit going. It's beautiful inside and out. The authors and illustrators do a wonderfully poetic job of teaching young readers about the amazing role of the sun, and what it brings to our planet. Children will be enthralled at the power of photosynthesis, and will finish the story wanting to be better stewards of our Earth.
This science tale made me stop and literally smell the roses, and be thankful for the sun for supplying these beautiful plants in my yard with what they need to grow uniquely wonderful blooms. In these last couple of weeks of summer vacation I've found myself wanting to soak in all that the outdoors have to offer. Right in your own backyard or schoolyard is a wonderland of photosynthesis magic.
We took a look at tall trees (I love how small my son looks next to this tall pine tree), seed sacs, butterfly plants being visited by insect friends, citrus maturing, and lots of green grass. After reading this book older children will see the connection between the sun and these vibrant green leaves.
There are a lot of great sun related science projects to do with children. In my classroom we've made solar cookers, living photosynthesis models, visited farms, etc. For my wee little learner at home I thought we would make some sun prints. I had some left over sun print paper from a different project and thought we could make a nice plant picture with it.
What you'll need:
Sun print paper (which you can find at a variety of locations like craft stores)
the sun (free, yippee!)
flowers, grasses, leaves from the yard
a frame if you would like to display finished product
The next part is easy. Follow the sun print paper directions and head out in the yard. We chose a mixture of leaves, flower petals, and such to make our prints. The directions will tell you how to handle the paper, how long to leave it in the sun, and what to do afterward. It's really very simple!
We decided to add some color to our one of a kind masterpieces with the use of watercolors. I love how easy and inexpensive painting with watercolors can be. They were a new treat for my son, and he loved it. Here is how our sun print watercolors turned out.
I keep these cheap pop in pop out frames handy and change out the artwork inside periodically. It allows me to enjoy the little artist's works, and also adds some color to our house. This would be a wonderful classroom art project as well to tie together the science behind the sun.